James Hoare, Bank of Ireland

Tell us about your academic background?

  • Senior Manager – Bank of Ireland- Corporate Credit (current)
  • Manager – Bank of Ireland, Corporate Banking, Property Finance Group
  • Manager – Bank of Ireland, NAMA Unit
  • Assistant Manager – Irish Bank Resolution Corporation
  • 2011 – 2015: ACA, Institute of Chartered Accountants Ireland

Why accountancy? 

I saw it as an integral building block to further career advancement.

Why Chartered Accountants Ireland?

My brother completed ACA via EY and I understood that ACA was seen as the gold standard accountancy qualification. The flexible route opened up this avenue for me.

Can you explain the Flexible Route to someone who doesn't know what it is?

It provides for the ability to complete the ACA qualification outside of practice.

Describe a typical day for you? 

In my current role, I am undertaking credit assessments for new and existing Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking customers. BOI has a large corporate loan book incorporating indigenous commercial and property loans, a growing UK loan book and a leveraged loan book with offices in America, Germany and France. This is an excellent role that provides a great overview of the entire spectrum of the BOI loan book.

Is it flexible?   

Yes, BOI is seeking to enshrine an agile working environment and it allows for flexible working together with working from home.

How was combining work and study?

It was tough and time consuming but worth it in the end. I sought to create mini study blocks which allowed me to regularly stay on top of all the work required. Unlike practicing accountants, I had limited study time and had to begin studying much earlier to ensure I got the entire curriculum covered.

Can you see how someone who is not an accountant might benefit from this qualification?

Very much so, it provides an excellent knowledge base across a multitude of subjects that are in use every day.

Would you recommend the Flexible Route to others? Why?

Yes I would, it allows for people in non-accountancy roles to undertake what I consider to be the pre-eminent accountancy qualification while also continuing to work in your preferred role/work place. 

What advice would you give someone who is considering the Flexible Route?

 I would give two pieces of advice.

  1. Attend all the classes, they provide an excellent understanding of the subjects and allow you to stay on top of things;
  2. Begin your studying early and do it often. I usually came in to work early to get some study done, did a bit more at lunchtime and then did a few hours in the evening. This allowed me to feel in control while also allowing time for family, friends and work.

What success are you looking for? / What are your future goals?  

I have recently accepted an offer of a role with Bank of America (Vice President in their Credit & Market Risk department). I wish to succeed in this role and continue to progress.